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You Can't Be Safe by Making People Unsafe

I’ve mocked safe spaces before, mostly because what they actually are, most of the time, are segregated spaces: spaces for one race, one sex, one whatever.

They are the result of heads being filled with way too much neo-Marxism, in which humanity can be infinitely divided into endless little classes and groups. By definition, each group must strive against the other.

Why must the groups strive against each other? I don’t know. Also shut up, racist.

Okay, in truth, in the academic Marxist’s mind, each group must strive against the other because the economy is a finite, closed pie, and if you’re getting a lot of apple, I must be stuck with the crust.

Of course, since I attended an all-girls high school, overwhelmingly with a single ethnicity (since this was in Portugal and Portugal in the seventies was nowhere near as “diverse” as it is now), I raise eyebrows at the idea these are safe spaces. Safe from what, precisely? Turns out my all-girl, all-Portuguese high school had the normal number of nut cases, violent idiots, and all the rest. It even had me. (Fortunately, I wasn’t locked in there with them. They were locked in there with me.)

Safe spaces strike me as a bizarre idea, but not as bizarre as the new idea of “safety.”

I’ve seen it bandied all over the place: Trump talking about illegal immigrants makes people feel “unsafe.”  If you make a joke about fat people, you make fat people feel “unsafe.” If you make a joke about women, or Italians, or porcupines, you’re making those people feel unsafe.

This is best illustrated by this poor woman in Canada who played a YouTube video about transgender pronouns and got accused of making transgenders feel unsafe.

I shall quote her, as what she says is what I often feel like saying when people equate “feeling uncomfortable” with “feeling unsafe.”

RAMBUKKANA: Do you understand how what happened was contrary to... gendered and sexual violence policy? Do you understand how —

SHEPHERD: Sorry, what did I violate in that policy?

JOEL: So, gender-based violence, transphobia in that policy. Causing harm to trans students by bringing their identity as invalid, or their pronouns as invalid – potentially invalid.

SHEPHERD: So I caused harm and violence?

JOEL: Which is under the Ontario Human Rights Code a protected thing, and also something that Laurier holds as a value.

SHEPHERD: Okay, so, by proxy, me showing a YouTube video, I'm transphobic and I caused harm and violence? So be it. I can't do anything to control that.

Go read that again. Watching a YouTube video, no matter what the people in it say, should not make anyone feel unsafe unless what they’re saying is “Let’s go visit Mr. Jones of 24 Downhome street and beat him up with cudgels.” Then, yeah, possibly, Mr. Jones has some reason to feel unsafe.